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Mentally-ill woman will not be forced into Caesarean

By Brian Farmer

Doctors should not be allowed to force a mentally-ill pregnant woman to undergo a Caesarean section, a judge has concluded.

Management at an NHS trust had wanted permission to deprive the woman "of her liberty" in order to provide "necessary medical care".

But Mrs Justice Roberts decided that the woman - a schizophrenic - has the mental capacity to make her own decisions about medical treatment.

The judge analysed the case at a hearing in the Court of Protection, where issues relating to sick and vulnerable people are considered, in London yesterday.

She said judges should not intervene when people were capable of making their own decisions - although she did not criticise trust bosses for asking for a ruling.

Mrs Justice Roberts said the woman - who is detained in a specialist unit under the terms of mental health legislation - could not be identified.

The judge also said the trust must remain anonymous while the woman is a patient at the unit - in case publicity leads to her identity being revealed.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph